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Published On: August 2nd, 2015

Eau Claire officially eliminated from playoff contention

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As slim a chance as it was, making the Northwoods League Playoffs is officially mathematically impossible for the Eau Claire Express after a 14-5 loss to the Thunder Bay Border Cats tonight at Carson Park.

The Express held an early lead thanks to three home runs hit and were up 5-1 heading into the fifth inning. But a four run fifth for the Border Cats followed by five runs in the sixth spelled doom for the Express who never recovered.

Ryan Schlosser went 4.1 innings in his first start of the season giving up five runs, four of them earned, on seven hits and one walk. Kale Latorre pitched an inning and a third in relief and allowed five runs however only one of those were earned.

“I think part of it is we’re really banged up,” said Express Field Manager Dale Varsho. “We’ve got guys that haven’t really started for us starting, we’re just trying to piece it together.”

Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly) gave the Express their first hit and first run of the game when he blasted a solo shot to right field which tied the game in the bottom of the third inning.

The Express broke it open in the bottom of the fourth when Austin Listi (Dallas Baptist) continued his hot swinging with a two run home run, followed by a Daniel Jipping solo shot one batter later which gave the Express a 5-1 lead. That would be it for the Express who would keel over to fall to 14-16 in the second half and 27-37 overall.

“We weren’t really thinking about playoffs no matter what because we’ve been so inconsistent this whole year,” said Varsho. “We just need to play better baseball and hopefully we get better by the end.”

The Express have two games remaining on the current home stand as they cap the series with the Border Cats tomorrow at 5:05 p.m. at Carson Park. It is Eau Claire County Humane Association Night where there will be random prizes and drawings throughout the game.